Trolling other fanbases is a long-established CFL tradition, but the wealthy Saskatchewan Roughriders have been at the forefront of it recently with their billboards in opposing cities. Other teams are starting to strike back against Saskatchewan, though, and the latest is the Edmonton Eskimos, who unveiled two radio ads making fun of Rider fans in strong terms ahead of Friday night's game between the teams in Edmonton. The question is if they went too far, though. Via CBC Saskatchewan's Peter Mills, here's audio of the first ad:
Transcription: "You know that guy, the irritating Saskatchewan Roughriders fan. Sorry, that's redundant: the Saskatchewan Roughriders fan. He's loud, obnoxious, and somehow manages to brag about his team winning a dominant four championships in just over a century. That guy. Well, he's going to the Eskimo game this Friday, and you should go too and watch his entire world crumble around him! Support your Eskimos! Tickets to the game are at Ticketmaster, starting at $32.50."
And here's the second ad, which should really get a lot of attention:
Transcription: "The Saskatchewan Roughriders have fantastic fans, even if they are horrible human beings. They're all coming to Commonwealth this Friday. Taste their delicious tears. Support your Eskimos! Tickets to the game are at Ticketmaster, starting at $32.50."
The idea behind this campaign's a smart one, as Rider fans are always a prominent presence on the road and have been out in great numbers in Edmonton in the past. Discussing that may well be a clever way to get Eskimos fans out to the game and hopefully provide a bit of a home-field advantage for the team, as well as some extra revenue. However, the terms here may be a little over-the-top: was "horrible human beings" really necessary? And taking shots at the Roughriders' limited championships is pretty funny for a team that hasn't won the Grey Cup or even been to it since their 2005 victory, but yet insists on glorifying "The Eskimo Way" and bragging about their success in the 1970s and 1980s. Sure, Edmonton may have won 13 Grey Cups, more than any team but Toronto, but they haven't been to the big game in almost a decade; in that span, Saskatchewan's made four Grey Cup appearances and won two. The Eskimos may have the overall history edge, but the Riders have found far greater success lately.
From this corner, there's nothing wrong with trolling other teams and their fans, but Edmonton's approach here might go a little far. Using terms like "obnoxious" and "horrible human beings" seems unnecessary, especially when there are more creative ways to get the point across. There's plenty of ammunition to go after the Riders, including manure dumps, music videos, Rambo ads, watermelons, banjos, All-Dressler chips and Dari-Os. Montreal showed off a terrific example of creative trolling this week, announcing that they'll retire Anthony Calvillo's #13 on October 13th against the Riders in a fantastic callback to the 2009 Grey Cup's 13th man. More angles along those lines might work out better than throwing out strong insults the way the Eskimos are.